So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into edge computing. Perhaps you’ve come to realize that you can’t always rely on the cloud for certain mission-critical applications? Or maybe you want to take advantage of all the data at your disposal to drive real-time decisioning that fuels innovation?
Whatever the case might be, the interest in edge computing has reached an inflection point as recent advancements in hardware, networking, and software have brought edge computing into sharp focus as IT leaders look to execute their ambitious digital transformation initiatives.
To help break down some of the key considerations that are common to all edge deployments, Scale Computing in conjunction with Industry Dive has published a new, in-depth resource: “The Pilot’s Guide to Edge Computing Deployment” which was designed to help IT leaders and their teams understand some of the practical considerations to keep top of mind when embarking on their edge computing projects.
What follows is a brief summary of the five key considerations from the Pilot’s Guide:
1. Change Your Mindset: Edge computing not only represents a paradigm shift from a technological standpoint, it also requires a shift in how we must rethink how IT services are built and delivered. A successful edge deployment lays the groundwork that enables you to develop at the speed and scale desired, without the restraints of cumbersome infrastructure or the lack of qualified IT staff. Edge platform software packaged for uncontrolled, non-IT environments and centralized management make it easy to run applications anywhere while also reducing IT workload.
2. Physical Space & Equipment Requirements: Unlike the highly controlled and regulated environment found in a modern data center, edge deployments are marked more by their differences than their uniformity. Edge adopters must consider the size of the actual equipment and its requirements for power, access space, security, climate control, and cabling as well as carefully evaluate other aspects of their environment such as fluctuating temperatures, ventilation, dust, moisture, and other ambient factors which may be an everyday reality for locations such as distributed retail stores, industrial sites, or even vessels at sea.
3. Shipping & Installation: Because edge sites are often spread across distant geographies and have few skilled IT staff on hand to troubleshoot issues, it’s essential to think about the mechanics of how edge equipment will be delivered and configured beforehand so that time and resources aren’t squandered down the line. Selecting an edge solution that can pre-install all the necessary components for a streamlined rollout will minimize opportunities for manual configuration mishaps and help enable a true plug-and-play experience for users.
4. Rapid Deployment & Scalability: Edge solution providers should design deployment to get users from unboxing to creating virtual machines (VMs) and deploying applications with minimal friction. Setup should be straightforward enough for even non-technical users to understand, enabling them to follow a few simple step-by-step directions, such as assigning IP addresses, entering a license code in a cloud-based web console, or allowing the edge appliances to configure themselves.
5. Centralized Monitoring & Management: Finally, with computing infrastructure distributed at the edge, you should carefully consider how you will monitor and manage it all – especially since you won’t be able to count on having the same skilled resources available 24/7 to troubleshoot issues when they arise. As much as possible, physical interventions on site should be avoided, and you should prioritize automated technologies such as Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) which enables your on-site IT staff to remotely monitor, configure and manage their distributed assets from a centralized location.
Want to learn more? Download the free Scale Computing Pilot’s Guide to Edge Computing Deployment or contact us for a free 30-day trial.